Should I Rotate My Shampoo?


We’ve all been there: We finally find a sulfate-free shampoo that works wonders for us! Our hair feels clean, manageable and healthy. Friends compliment us and ask what we’re doing differently with our hair. Then slowly, we notice the results start to fade. Or perhaps it’s more an issue of inconsistent results.

Maybe our hair feels dry after we shampoo with our trusty repairing shampoo. Or, our volumizing shampoo gives great boost and sleek shine one day but allows our tresses to fall flat and frizz up the next. Or maybe our hair just never feels clean anymore, in general. 

It might be time to consider rotating your favorite sulfate-free shampoo with another great option. Read on to learn how switching up your shampoo can help address all your hair concerns!


Do We Really Need to Rotate Our Shampoo?

In short, yes. But it’s a bit more complicated than that, and we don’t need to rotate shampoos simply for the sake of it. Our hair doesn’t become “used to” shampoos, in a scientific sense. Instead, our hair’s needs change—over time with age and sometimes even day to day—so we need different things from our shampoo. And these changes can be due to a number of factors, including:


  • seasonal changes in weather
  • aging
  • stress
  • diet
  • illness and/or medications
  • color treatments and dyes
  • process treatments (like perms or keratin treatments)


The shampoo that was perfect for you ten years ago, one year ago or even one month ago might not be adequately addressing your hair’s needs today. Stress, poor diet, illness and many medications can slow hair growth and cause hair loss. Some hair dyes and treatments also make our hair a bit more delicate, necessitating a change in our cleansing products. Add Mother Nature’s fickle tendencies into the equation—we’re looking at you, humidity!—and it’s enough to make our heads spin.


How Do I Choose a New Sulfate-Free Shampoo?

There are tons of shampoo choices available today, making the decision to switch shampoos an overwhelming one. How do you know which shampoos will work best for you? Do you need a repairing shampoo or a shampoo for thinning hair? Do you have an oily scalp and curly hair? Or maybe a dry scalp and fine hair?


Don’t worry! First things first: Regardless of your hair type or texture, you definitely want a paraben- and sulfate-free shampoo because these cleanse without using harsh, harmful detergents.

And remember, just as there are different hair types and skin types, there are different scalp types—after all your scalp is an extension of your skin! And though our hair health and scalp health are definitely related, it’s important to remember that they often have different issues and needs. Skipping wash days can help heal dry, damaged hair, but for some of us, an unwashed scalp can feel itchy or irritated. And even clean scalps get buildup over time.

Here are four important considerations to help guide you as you ponder switching up your shampoo routine:


1. Know What Your Hair Needs

Take some time to do a “hair inventory.” Ask yourself the following questions to get a better idea of how your current shampoo is working for your tresses:


  • Do you feel like your hair stays reasonably clean between washes, or do you notice buildup and dirt in your hair soon after you clean your hair? 
  • Immediately after you wash your hair, do you find that your hair feels too dry after shampooing, or does it still feel oily? 
  • Has your hair become noticeably thinner recently? 
  • Do you notice that one day your hair is smooth and sleek, while the next you’re battling frizz and flyaways? 
  • If you color your tresses, does your color stay vibrant between regular touch-ups, or does it fade more quickly than it should? 

If you find that these questions have brought to light some dissatisfaction with your current shampoo, it’s probably time to shake up your shampoo routine! And this often means different things to different people.

Sometimes we even have multiple hair concerns, so if this is the case, you can alternate two shampoos at once, using them for every other wash. For example, if you have a dry scalp and fine hair, then a repairing shampoo for damaged hair and volumizing shampoo for thinning hair would be excellent options to rotate.

In addition to the volume-boosting and strengthening benefits of our Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo with hops to support thicker-looking hair, which is essential if you’re experiencing hair loss, our Second Chance Repairing Shampoo includes argan oil, which helps support hair follicle health and help prevent the scalp and hair from drying out. (And our entire line of shampoos and conditioners are fantastic for color-treated hair!)

2. Your Scalp Might Need a Change (Not Your Hair)

Here’s the test: When you clean your hair, does it stay looking and feeling great long after your scalp does? Does your freshly clean scalp have buildup right away? If you’re dealing with the symptoms of an unwashed scalp despite regular cleansing, you might need to switch up your scalp-care products (or add some to your routine) rather than your shampoos.


Healing an irritated scalp helps prevent hair loss and that feeling that our hair never feels clean after a wash. We love our AHA-infused New Dawn Activated Charcoal Scalp Cleanser, which cleanses the scalp of buildup and promotes healthy hair!


Pro-tip when applying our scalp cleanser: A little bit goes a long way! Use just enough to cover the scalp. Try also adding a few drops of Vitamin E oil to the scalp cleanser for a dermatologist-approved boost! Simply break open a capsule of Vitamin E, and mix a couple drops with your scalp cleanser before applying it in a thin layer all over your scalp for added nourishment and conditioning.

3. If Maintaining Color Is a Concern, Try a Purple Shampoo!

Whether you’ve embraced your gorgeous grays or opted for a beautiful shade of blonde, auburn, ginger or chestnut, a purple shampoo is an excellent choice for any hair color. (You read that right—it’s not just for silvers and blondes!) Purple shampoos act like a toner to prevent brassy, yellow tones from appearing in lighter hair colors. But this includes darker hair with lighter colors within it, such as salt and pepper locks and brunette shades with lighter highlights or balayage. We adore our sulfate-free, vegan shampoo Silver Lining Purple Brightening Shampoo for an excellent, color-safe option to add to your rotation!


4. Tailor Your Shampoo to Your Hairstyling Preferences

This one’s for all our curly girls: We love a gorgeous, bouncy curl! But sometimes those of us with curly locks want to switch up our look with a sleek, straight style. If you straighten your curly hair on occasion, you definitely know that curly hair has different needs than straight hair! To give your strands some of the volume that comes with your curls when you straighten your tresses, adding a volumizing shampoo to your rotation will give your straightened styles a fabulous boost! On days you’re embracing your curls, our Bounce Back Super Moisturizing Shampoo for Curly Hair is designed to hydrate and strengthen aging curls to help them keep their bounce and definition between washes.


Better Not Younger Has Your Sulfate-Free Shampoo Needs Covered!

At Better Not Younger, we formulate all of our shampoos and conditioners to be sulfate-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free and safe for color-treated hair. No matter your hair type or unique hair needs, we have options that will allow you to rotate your shampoos and keep your locks looking their healthiest!


Still not sure which shampoo is right for you? Take our Better Hair Quiz to find out the best shampoo to add to your rotation for your hair’s specific needs.


Tell Us: Do you have a sulfate-free, vegan shampoo that you love? Share your favorites with us in the comments below!